Rohit Bhargava is Bliss Faculty Scholar and Professor of Bioengineering (with affiliate appointments in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Mechanical Science & Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Chemistry). He received a dual B.Tech. degree (Chemical Engineering with a minor in Polymer Science and Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University. After a stint at the National Institutes of Health, Rohit has been at Illinois as Assistant Professor (2005-2011), Associate Professor (2011-2012) and Professor (2012-). Rohit has pioneered the development of infrared spectroscopic imaging, starting from his doctoral thesis that was the first in this field. Fundamental work in theory and numerical methods in his laboratory directly leads to new instrumentation and technologies. Instruments developed in his laboratory have been used to provide new means to characterize and define cancer using chemical imaging that are leading to the emergence of the field of digital molecular pathology. Using 3D printing and engineered tumor models, his most recent research seeks to create designer cancers in the laboratory.
Rohit founded and serves as the Director of the Cancer Community@Illinois, a University-wide effort dedicated to advancing cancer-related research and scholarship at Illinois. The effort is a unique approach to oncology across the lifespan and the first such national center combining high quality engineering with the field of oncology. Earlier in his career, Rohit was among the first faculty in the new Bioengineering department at Illinois and played a key role in its development.
The central theme of research in our group is the development of novel chemical imaging technology and structures that can be employed to detect, diagnose and understand tissue structure and cancer pathology. These biological sensors may be optical (spectroscopic imaging), material (probes) or computational and physical models. Another major theme is the development of novel instrumentation approaches to fast, high fidelity infrared spectroscopic imaging and development of novel algorithms for information extraction from large imaging data sets.